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Roast Beef Dinner Menu Suggestions/Critique

I have company coming next weekend for a prime rib roast dinner. We will be a small group. My plan is to have two-rib roast salted a couple of days before roasting; sear at 500F for 15 min and continue roasting at a low temperature. Serve it with an Yorkshire pudding and roasted carrots and parsnip; steak-house wedge salad to start and an apple tart with sharp cheddar to finish.

What do you think? I welcome any suggestions that you might have. What do you think I should serve before the meal? Alcohol-wise, I am thinking to start with Bourbon/Coke cocktails, move to Cab Sav with the meal and Brandy to finish.

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  1. can i come over too? I'll help in the kitchen :) Sounds wonderful. How about drinks like a sidecar? I don't even know what it is, think i have had it once or twice, but seems to me that it goes with your "theme". Enjoy!

    3 Replies
    1. re: smilingal

      a sidecar is a sweetish brandy-based drink.

      1. re: hotoynoodle

        oh - i think i was meaning another drink which was with bourbon as well.

    2. sounds great!

      various schools of thought on pre-salting meat. a quick google-fu will show you that and perhaps change your mind, but air-drying in the fridge for a while is excellent planning either way.

      my carer is as a sommelier and beverage director... i DO NOT like sweet drinks, as they deaden the palate, so would not like coke with my bourbon. especially if you're serving a good, small-batch type. have an ice bucket, a pitcher of water and some coke on the side if you think your friends prefer it that way. will you be serving those pre-dinner? if not, and with the salad, i'd strongly recommend a gin drink instead. (think "mad men": hilarious episode where they get trashed on martinis, with wedge salads and oysters.) but don't transition your friends from brown liquor to white. oy! pick one liquor, then wine.

      i also generally prefer syrah with roasted or grilled beef. california cabs can really go overboard with oak and tannins, while a decent french syrah will have gorgeous gamey aromas with some smoke and plenty of body to stand up to the meat.

      if you can afford cognac instead of brandy, it will be a gorgeous end to your feast.

      have fun!

      6 Replies
      1. re: hotoynoodle

        I totally second the opinion above with respect to air drying in the fridge. I do that regularly and it makes for an amazing prime rib. As does your plan to low temperature roast.
        An appetizer would be a good move perhaps? Snacks with drinks before dinner are usually appreciated, and it can be a simple appetizer, too.
        I'm also on my way over for dinner...

        1. re: freia

          yeah, even salted nuts and gougeres would be fine. i don't like serving any booze without something to eat. can lead to a treacherous evening, lol.

          1. re: hotoynoodle

            I second the gougere. I would also offer something other than or in addition to the bourbon/coke which I would not be interested in drinking--too sweet.

          1. re: hotoynoodle

            Unless you know your guests' tastes in red wine, I'd suggest offering both a bordeaux and a burgundy. I loathe bordeaux to the extent that I'd stick with water if that was the only option.

            1. re: greygarious

              All Bordeaux? wow, that's a big category!
              What bothers you so much about it if I might ask?
              no stake in the answer, just curious about such a strong reaction.

          2. A two rib roast......how small is your group?

            1. Your dinner sounds good! When I make a roast beef dinner I must have peas and roast potatoes with it. And the Yorkshire puddings, of course.

              1. Sounds great. Bourbon and coke would be terrific if I could have mine without the coke.

                1. That's a hearty meal and the idea of bourbon and coke doesn't appeal to me along with all of those strong flavors. Maybe a prosecco and fruity combination or champagne and kir or something along those lines to lighten the mood even a great hard cider would be good. Serve a good red with the meal.

                  1. Can't beleive I completely ignored this thread! Please forgive me all that responded. Unfortunately, my friend was not getting along with the BF, dinner was cancelled and they split up in August. The roast was all ready to go but went into the freezer instead where it still resides. Finally, I am having another small group (4 or 6) together and plan to serve the roast. It is only 2-rib one and I hope it will strech to accommodate all if we are six.

                    I am planning to start with homemade gravlax on rye with cream cheese and dill, gougeres and sparkling wine. For the main: roast beef with horseradish sauce, twice baked potatoes, Yorkshire pudding and roasted brussel sprouts. I think I need another veg - maybe something steamed, or mix veg in a white sauce, or? what do you think?

                    I will investigate availability of French Syrah to serve with the main - many thanks for the suggestion! I am excited to serve a different wine from CabSav that is typically served with a roast.

                    Now I am not sure about the dessert. Maybe something lemon or chocolate as oppose to apple. Thoughts?

                    18 Replies
                    1. re: herby

                      You'll be fine, assuming the 2-Rib Roast is at least 4 pounds..then you should be able to make at least 1/2 inch slices....more than enough for a dinner plate with sides.

                      I see that you have already decided on low temperature roasting, but you did not mention what the low temperature setting would be. I suggest you do not sear in the oven at 500* for the first 15 minutes.....at this point, you need to stretch the roast as much as possible, so to do so you have to be concerned with the yield it will have.....the only way to maximize the yield is to make sure the roast does not shrink, something high heat will do.

                      Instead, sear the roast on the stove top and roast no higher than 225*. If you want to see results of a similar size Prime Rib Roast I made, have a look at the following post in the thread below.:...


                      My roast was cooked to Medium-Rare temperature, but you can certainly cook up the roast with a longer time spent in the oven.

                      With regards to the additional vegetable, I would deem unnecessary....You do not mention a salad the second time....I would consider that....How about a BeefSteak Tomato and Onion a la Luger.....with a bottle of their Steak Sauce.

                      For dessert....I would be happy with cookies and Espresso.

                      1. re: fourunder

                        The roast is 4lbs and we'll be most likely four but I like to be ready if the other two decide to join. I was thinking about searing at 500F for 10 min and then lower temperature to 250F and cook to 130F maybe another 1.5 hours - what do you think? I need to have my time-line worked out.

                        I am debating about salad. People seem not to want one because it is so cold and I thought that maybe another veg would be enough.

                        Love your cookies idea :) World Peace cookies and budino with a shot of Espresso and maybe a small glass of cognac on the side - yum!

                        1. re: herby

                          Your plan sounds fine......but I'm a very opinionated guy when it comes to Roast Prime Rib, as some may tell you here on Chowhound....so If you really want the best results, I would suggest you have patience and take the low and slow approach....Although my process sounds overwhelming, complicated and possibly intimidating.....it's really nothing more than sticking the meat into the oven and after a few hours, you hold the roast for another two and then stick it in the oven again for 5 minutes and you are ready to slice....It's that easy.

                          While the roast is resting, you can finish all your sides......so the process is very easy and all you need to do is watch the time.....that's actually very easy as well.

                          For small roast (2-3 Ribs ), I prefer to sear on the stove, just to control the process a little closer....as it on requires a few minutes to sear the roast. Again, you roast for a few hours, then hold it for 60-120 minutes (120 is best). Give it a high heat blast for 5 minutes and the roast is ready to sliced and served....If you read some of the comments in the thread I provided, my approach is fool proof and the results are rewarding.

                          The difference between your plan and my approach amounts to maybe one extra hour roasting time and one hour holding time.. The whole idea of the low and slow roast is to let the enzymes in the meat break down the muscle, which mimics the dry aging process. The 2 hours extra time is crucial to allow that to happen properly.

                          as for the salad vs. vegetable dilemma......don't fret too much over it.....either will be fine....and either will be perfect. Don't over think the menu worrying about whether you need to balance it or compliment each item on the plate. In the end, I know your guests will love the meal and your efforts...even if you serve peas and mashed potatoes.

                          1. re: fourunder

                            OK. I make a decent roast but super curious to follow your method. An hour to two of resting is very attractive too because I like to socialize with my guests and not be stuck in the kitchen fretting about the roast. That said, I know my method works and not sure if yours will produce a steak that it hot enough and medium rare at the same time. I love to experiment on my guests and will make a recipe I never tried before, but a roast... Are you absolutely, no doubt, sure that your method will produce over the top roast?

                            I didn't say but this is a dinner to thank my young friends who helped to care for my friend who passed away a year ago from an agressive cancer. They love good food and I do not want to dissapoint.

                            1. re: herby

                              I really do not like to boast, so may I ask if you read some of the thread I liked to? Many have tried the low and slow process and have proclaimed it's the only way they will roast their Prime Rib Roasts from now on.....even with inexpensive Chuck/Shoulder roasts, the meat becomes tender.

                              Again, have a look at the thread and a couple of others and you can judge for yourself. The threads have pictures, so you can see for yourself.




                              I feel comfortable that I can assure you the low and slow approach, coupled with a two hour rest will produce a superior roast. Essentially, my technique was adapted fro seriouseats.com's Perfect Prime Rib recipe....modified through trial and accident to come to realize a 30 minute rest was good, but longer is better. My two Christmas Roasts this year rested for 3.5 hours and 4+ hours. The method is tried and true.

                          2. re: herby

                            I made a 4 lb 2-rib roast a few days ago that turned out perfectly rosy pink & juicy. Method: Roast at 200F for 3 hours (to internal 120F), rest for approx 15 min, while the oven heats & finish for 10 min. at 500F, then rest approx 30 min while the Yorkshire pudding cooks.

                            There were very few drippings when it came out of the oven the first time, but it crisped & rendered nicely in the final blast, so there were plenty of drippings then for the pudding.

                        2. re: herby

                          For the additional veg, perhaps something a bit acidic? Roasted tomatoes (Compari's are nice this time of year) marinaded in a garlicky oil is easy and very tasty. Plus it adds a little color to the plate.

                          1. re: meatn3

                            Love your suggestion! I am concerned that my whole main is cooked in the oven - I only have one oven. Thought that I roast sprouts first and serve room temperature tossed with the dressing; cook Yorkshires while roast rests and warm potatoes at the same time. That will work but another dish in the oven... unless you think I can serve tomatoes room temperature. How do you make yours? Roast, peel and marinate?

                            1. re: herby

                              could pan-roast the sprouts on the stove :)

                              1. re: KarenDW

                                I could but I have one brussel sprout hater that I would like to convert and the roasted recipe is very good :)

                              2. re: herby

                                I only peel if the tomatoes need it. I usually have Compari's from Costco, but this works well with cherry tomatoes too. I cut the tomatoes into bite sized bits and marinade in Garlic Expressions for an hour to 24 hours. Everything is in one layer in an old glass Pyrex pie pan. It's pretty loose...I've baked them on a lower rack while a roast is cooking. When the meat is resting I move the tomatoes up a bit and broil until they start to get a little color.

                                You can also cook them ahead of time and reheat - microwave is fine or put them in a saucepan and quickly reheat. Room temperature...if it is on the coldish side they may seem too oily. If the room is in the '70's you should be ok. Personally I think the flavor is better when they are warm. There is a bit of shrinkage so make a little more than you think you need.


                                WF's carries it. I also find it at other grocery stores sometimes.

                                1. re: meatn3

                                  I am in Canada, Meatn3, and we do not have WF here but do have Costco that sells Compari tomatoes. I do not have MV... What is "Garlic Expressions"? A marinate? I am thinking that I would like to try this method: roast Compari tomatoes the night before, slip skins off, cut in quarters and marinate in olive oil/garlic/wine vinegar/S&P over night in the fridge; warm up in a pan just before serving. Brilliant recipe and thank you for sharing!

                                  This somehow reminds me of an Indian tomato dish that I make and serve at room temperature; it is fabulous but not appropriate for this dinner

                                  1. re: herby

                                    The ingredients are:

                                    cider vinegar, canola oil, sugar, fresh garlic cloves, salt, spices and xanthan.

                                    I think you could mix it up easily. Spices taste as if there is just a pinch of hot pepper. The sugar does help with browning. Garlic cloves are whole. Sliced would work, crushed/minced might be too much.

                                    You're proposed method sounds good too! I find this dressing pretty versatile and use it frequently. It is not a big seller in my area and I often find it on close out for a few dollars...

                                    I make the tomatoes with embarrassing frequency. Leftovers are nice added to an omelet, composed salad, soup, added to steamed green beans....even stirred into cheese grits for breakfast!

                                    Your dinner sounds fabulous!

                                    1. re: meatn3

                                      Thank you for listing the ingredients, Meatn3!

                                      I think I will omit xanthan, use oilve oil instead of canola, the same herbs that are in other dishes and lots of garlic This is such a great idea of a dish!

                                      Why did I never thought beyond the Indian tomato dish that I make and love - many thanks for expanding my tomato horizon :)

                                      1. re: herby

                                        When you have a chance I'd love to get the Indian tomato recipe!
                                        I absolutely adore tomatoes in any form or fashion.

                            2. re: herby

                              We just happened to have a rib roast with horseradish sauce for dinner last night ourselves. We had roasted vegetables with it...two small heads of cauliflower from our garden that were ready to pick, but not enough there for the three of us. So I peeled and cubed the one sweet potato I had in the veggie basket on the kitchen counter, along with the four small white potatoes that were under everything. I tossed them all in a good olive oil, then some sweet balsamic vinegar and a good spoonful of grey sea salt, and roasted them til they were nice and browned. I liked the little bite of sweetness now and then from the sweet potato.
                              We had a mixed lettuce and white radish salad from our garden, too. This was our first year to do a winter vegetable garden, and we are ecstatic about our little harvests!

                              1. re: herby

                                Twice-baked potatoes and Yorkshire pudding together sounds pretty starchy and heavy, especially since your menu is fairly rich. I think I'd do one or the other, plus the sprouts for something green. If you want more veg, you could do some mixed roasted root vegetables, too.

                                Something lemon and lighter would be my choice for dessert after a sturdy meal like that. Maybe something like this budino, which you needn't use Meyer lemons for if you can't get them: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

                                1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                  Yorshires are just air, not as starchy as it sounds; and I'll choose small potatoes :) I usually make individual Yorkshire puddings; there are six to the pan - no seconds.

                                  I love your budino suggestion and save the recipe in my pepperplate. I was thinking individual chocolate souffles (bake from frozen) but budino and World Peace cookies sounds delightful

                              2. go with chocolate for dessert - a nice at-home and hearty dinner like prime rib roast needs something comforting and decadent for dessert

                                1. i won't comment on the roast as all sound wonderful and some may work better than others. Yorkshire Pud is a must, twice bake potatoes ( I mash them, add garlic, milk, butter (or better.. heavy cream), some shredded Sargento Italian cheese and a cple of eggs) and a veggie..i often do asparagus with a bearnaise type sauce that if it hits the meat, is also good. For afters, though, let me suggest Grand Marnier and some type of delightful chocolates